Multipotent stem cells have the capacity to develop into different types of cells by reprogramming their DNA to turn on different combinations of genes, a process called 'differentiation.' In a new study, researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science have found that reprogramming is imperfect in the early stages of differentiation, with some genes turned on and off at random. As cell divisions continue, the stability of the differentiation process increases by a factor of 100. The finding will help scientists understand how stem cells reprogram their genes and why fully differentiated cells are very hard to reprogram, knowledge with potential impacts on ageing, regenerative medicine, and cancer research...
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